by Chris Matthews
The big story of the week is General David Patraeus couldn’t say the war in Iraq is making America safer, but President Bush saying we’ll stay there longer.
President Bush hitched the future of this country beyond himself, beyond whoever is his successor, to a permanent American presence and influence in the heart of Arabia.
In a primetime speech to the country, President Bush told us that the United States would stay in Iraq indefinitely and troops will only come home when he decides there’s enough success to do it. He talked about our allies in Iraq, saying, “We thank the 36 nations who have troops on the ground in Iraq.”
Well, actually, the U.S. has 169,000 men and women over there. The British about 3 percent of that number.
Now let me give you a sense of the other firepower that’s joining us in the field: Hungary has 15 people there, Japan 5, Latvia 2, Turkey (a strong Islamic ally) 2, New Zealand 1, Singapore 1, and Canada 1.
Friday, four more American soldiers were killed by an explosion in Iraq.